I found a Chicken

Hi there keepers, it didn’t take me that long really. I took my son and nephew to Colchester Zoo, which by the way is the best zoo I have ever visited, they have a great petting zoo, with the goats and alpacas, and just as we were about to leave that area, I spotted a hen in the bushes, well I couldn’t resist, I grabbed the hen from said bush and then happily sat on a bench with this rather placid hen, while the boys continued to feed the goats with nearby bushes, home from home, it made my day at the zoo complete.

It seemed to amuse the  other zoo patrons no end.

She was no Gloria, as in she didn’t nestle down in my lap, but she did allow me to stroke her for a good 5 minutes. I miss my hens.

Advertisements

Ship Shape and Bristol Fashion.

Hi there reader, well as tomorrow I leave for the UK, for 4 weeks, I have been getting everything in order, the feeder is working well, although as it’s outside the coop, it’s feeding half the suburbs sparrow population too, which is a bit disconcerting, I think I should move it into the coop, although it may be a bit cramped, it would stop the possible disease threat from the sparrows and stop them eating the feed too.

The chicken minder came around yesterday, he’s a friend Noel who happens to be Welsh, and has a slight fear of hens, as a boy his mother had 200 hens or more on the allotments, I think the flock all rushing towards him as a boy scared him so much it has stayed with him. Hopefully this much smaller and quieter hens encounter will help him overcome any woes. I assured him that the girls will run away from him, as they do with us, unless you have food in your hands.

This is the longest time we will have been away from the hens, to be honest there is a part of me that is worried for them, but the most part knows they’ll be able to scrounge of the neighbours if  it comes to the worst . So I’ve cleaned out the coop, scrubbed down the decks, stocked up with 40kgs of pellets, everything is, as they used to say, in ship shape , and Bristol fashion.

Dear Visitors, I may be some time.

Hi keepers, as some of you may be aware I am going on holiday, therefore I won’t be able to update the site as much as I normally do, I will have to wait until I’m at one of my siblings houses, so I can get to PC, but please don’t forget it’s here, but I won’t have much chicken news, unless I find some in the UK, which is highly likely as I’m trying to organise going to visit Richard from Kent, who is the creator of Down The Lane, a great site for downsizing and frugal liivng, he also keeps chickens.

So why not browse the archives while I’m gone, and before you know it ‘ I’ll be Bach’ dum dum dum dum!!!!  That’s a classical joke.

thanks all for your patronage so far, look forward to writing more soon. Still three more days til I depart.

Nest Sharing

Hi there keepers, I try to write my posts first thing in the morning when the brain is supposed to be alert,  I make a coffee,  roll a smoke,  and sit down to type.  So far today I have sorted out the feeder, it’s getting a bit clogged up with the damp weather, then I went to collect the eggs. Yesterday when cleaning out the coop, which was very messy, as it has been raining so much I haven’t felt inclined to stand out in the rain scooping chicken poo, well I noticed Manuella the Minorcan has stopped laying under the coop, she is the fussiest layer, if you so much as touch the egg that you are leaving behind in the nest, she will kick it outof the nest, she has done this on three occassions, and finally she has decided to move her nest, just when I had tracked down Daphne and Daisy’s new spot, and found the new nest of Betty.

I decided to clear the nest that Daphne and Daisy are using, it had been two days since I checked it , again due to the weather, and to my surprise found it contained three Minorca eggs too, so it would appear three out of the four current layers are using the same nest, which makes my life a bit easier, and dryer, as I only have to negotiate one damp shrubbery. So the girls have come to their senses and set up a time share nest in Mani’s garden next door, fortunately they have set it down  just over the small bamboo fence, which I can easily reach. I wonder do they know Nancy is only inches away from them, just behind the trellis, sitting broody on an egg about six weeks old, I hope she doesn’t break it, the smell would be awful, the neigbours wouldn’t be too happy either as it is just by their outdoor seating area.

Chicken Sitter

Hello, as some of may be aware, I am going to the UK for 4 weeks, in about two weeks time, we have been a bit worried about how the girls will cope with us gone for such a long time. We have enlisted the help of a couple of friends, to come over and replace feed and water etc, however they probably won’t interact with the hens as much as we do, when we’re here all day.

So since we got the new feeder, which holds about a weeks worth of feed for them, I ve been trying to avoid contact with them, to an atempt to get them used to the idea that there isn’t going to be someone out with them during the day, giving them scraps of food and so on. We’ll probably find that they have moved out by the time we get back, maybe over to Gary and Gloria, a couple of pensioners who feed Daisy bread on a daily basis. I’m still worried about how they be without us here to look out for them, I’m sure they’ll be fine.

Betty Our Wyandotte

Hi there keepers of the chickens, great news, we have another layer, hoorah!,  just as my patience were wearing thin with them, they have pulled through. I happened to notice that this morning, Betty was missing from the group, who were seeking the sun patches in the garden, so I started to look around for her, and I heard the quietest little ruffle in the bush, and sure enough it was her sitting on a nest. I pretended I hadn’t seen her of course and proceeded back in to the house, shortly after loud clucking came from the garden, and there she was making the loudest noise I’ve heard her make ever, I think she saw me.

I went over to where she had been hiding, and there were three little eggs, her first I think, I noticed her trying to nest under another bush a few days ago, but i thought it was a bit out in the open for her, well she has found a new spot, which means I have found two new nests this week, so now four out of seven are providing eggs, Nancy is still broody with only one egg under her, I’ve been over twice trying to push her out of the nest, but she won’t budge, I can’t get her out as she is behind the neighbours shed, snadwiched between that and the trellis fence at the back of the shed, I just worry she will go hungry, and in these cold conditions she may fall ill, come home Nancy.

New Feeder

hi there keepers, up until now we have had several home made feeders, fashioned from pieces of plastic guttering or ice cream containers, these have served well, but they weren’t covered, so the weather and other animals would get to the feed, hence costing us more in feed, so we have finally purchased a silo type feeder, it consists of a tappered cylinder in the center, with a shaped bowl underneath, the edges of which curve up to prevent the feed from spilling out, and making it harder for non chicken feeders to get a nibble.

There is a bar hinged on the top, to enable it to be hung a couple of inches off the floor, again to prevent other critters from getting to the feed and it stops the splash from any rain spoiling the feed, the main reason for getting the feeder is that we are going to away for a few weeks visiting family in the UK and Ireland, so we wanted to be able to feed the girls for several days without any one here, then all our chicken sitter will have to do is come around every few days to top up the feeder and water troughs, as we have a creek running through the property and it the rainy season, I don’t think shortage of water will be an issue. I have yet to fill the feeder to capacity to work out roughly how long it last the hens, I’ve been giving them a little time to get used to it, which took all of about 20 minutes, once they had worked out this was the never porridge pot of pellets, the fact that it is a strange grey metal hovering device, no longer seemed to bother them.

 

feeder

feeder

 I have noticed that the sparrows are having a great time at the feeder, I think it will have to go inside the coop?? or maybe a seperate feeding house.